Science Café Past Presentations

Maria Fadiman, Florida Atlantic University | Oct. 25, 2018

Aaron M. Ellison, Harvard Forest | Sept. 27, 2018
Ethnobotany and the Relationship between People and Plants
Aaron M. Ellison is the Senior Research Fellow in Ecology in Harvard’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, a Senior Ecologist at the Harvard Forest, and a semi-professional photographer and writer. He works with forests, wetlands, ants, and carnivorous plant communities to study the disintegration and reassembly of ecosystems following natural and anthropogenic disturbances; thinks about the relationship between the Dao and the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis; reflects on the critical and reactionary stance of Ecology relative to Modernism, blogs as The Unbalanced Ecologist, and tweets as @AMaxEll17. Aaron is the author of A Primer of Ecological Statistics (2004/2012), A Field Guide to the Ants of New England (2012; recipient of the 2013 USA Book News International Book Award in General Science, and the 2013 award for Specialty Title in Science and Nature from The New England Society in New York City), Stepping in the Same River Twice: Replication in Biological Research (2017), Carnivorous Plants: Physiology, Ecology, and Evolution(2018), and Vanishing Point (2017), a collection of photographs and poetry from the Pacific Northwest. On weekends, he works wood.

David Steen, Georgia Sea Turtle Center
Reptile Conservation | Aug. 30, 2018

Snakes and turtles occur in species-rich communities and interact with each other in numerous and fascinating ways. At the same time, many species are imperiled due to human activity. However, we do not often think of using these species to help us understand more about community ecology or conservation biology, in part because they can be secretive and hard to sample in standardized ways. My talk will focus on how I have tried to learn more about these reptiles while generating information that may be helpful in generating conservations plans.

David Steen received his B.S. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire and his M.S. in Ecology and Conservation Biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. While at SUNY-ESF, David initiated a long-term and ongoing collaboration with his advisor to determine how North American freshwater turtle populations have been negatively impacted by road mortality. After three years studying amphibian and reptile ecology and habitat relationships as Lead Research Technician in the Herpetology lab of the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway, David left to obtain his Ph.D at Auburn University. His dissertation described the long-term response of wildlife to varied forest management strategies and resulted in recommendations regarding how to restore wildlife assemblages in the imperiled longleaf-pine ecosystem. After completing a postdoctoral position at Virginia Tech studying the ecotoxicology of freshwater turtles, David returned to Auburn University first as a Research Fellow and then as an Assistant Research Professor. His focus at Auburn was reintroducing the federally-threatened Eastern Indigo Snake to Alabama and the Florida panhandle and was particularly interested in studying the ecological impacts of these ongoing reintroductions. However, he also developed a research program to better understand the ecology and physiology of large invasive reptiles. David has published dozens of scientific papers on the ecology of conservation biology of wildlife and is an award-winning science communicator known for his wide-ranging outreach efforts. He is also the Executive Director of The Alongside Wildlife Foundation, a non-profit he founded to promote science-based solutions to living alongside wildlife in perpetuity. David relocated to the Golden Isles in 2018 and is responsible for managing the research program of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.

Huw Davies, Emory University
Molecular Chemistry | July 26, 2018

Genoveva Ocampo, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
Sacred Maya Spaces, the Nahil Kab, houses of the Melipona beecheii in the Madrid Codex
 | July 12, 2018
From Ocampo: I was born in México City, México, where I live. I studied Biology, and I have my History Masters and PhD in Mesoamerican Studies from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). I hold a position as professor both in the Undergraduate and Graduate Colleges in the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras of the UNAM, with the subjects Health, Sickness and Epidemics in the Mesoamerican Cultures, and Historical Geography. My investigations are on the History of Mesoamerican traditional medicines and the activity of medical specialists in the pre-hispanic and colonial times, and the importance of these knowledges and practices for the contemporary indigenous cultures; the epidemics of pre-hispanic and colonial times in America and its consequences on the native peoples; the Melipona native stingless bees in Mesoamerica, history, biology, use of the honey, wax and other products in the past and present by the Mexican peoples, and the medicinal applications of Melipona honey. I am also part of the University Project on “Sacred Plants of the Maya People”. I have published articles and book chapters on these themes.

Eri Saikawa, Emory
Plants, Air Pollution and Climate Change | June 28, 2018

Eri Saikawa is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences at Emory University. She received a Bachelor of Engineering in chemistry and biotechnology at the University of Tokyo, Master of Public Affairs with a concentration in environmental policy and natural resource management at Indiana University, Bloomington, and a Ph.D. from the Science, Technology and Environmental Policy program at Princeton University. Her research is focused on analyzing sources and magnitude of emissions linked to air pollution, ozone depletion, and climate change, as well as the impacts of these emissions on humans and society.

Tyrone Hayes, UC Berkley
Frogs and Environmental Justice | May 24, 2018

Tyrone B. Hayes was born and raised in Columbia, S.C. where he developed his love for biology. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1989 and his PhD from the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1993. After completing his PhD, he began post-doctoral training at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health and the Cancer Research Laboratories at UC Berkeley (funded by the National Science Foundation), but this training was truncated when he was hired as an Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley in 1994. He was promoted to Associate professor with tenure in 2000 and to full Professor in 2003. Hayes’ research focuses on developmental endocrinology with an emphasis on evolution and environmental regulation of growth and development. For the last twenty years, the role of endocrine disrupting contaminants, particularly pesticides, has been a major focus. Hayes is interested in the impact of chemical contaminants on environmental health and public health, with a specific interest in the role of pesticides in global amphibian declines and environmental justice concerns associated with targeted exposure of racial and ethnic minorities to endocrine disruptors and the role that exposure plays in health care disparities.